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RESEARCH REPORT

ON

JEWELLERY SECTOR

IN HONG KONG

Prepared by ICE HK
June 2005
INDEX

JEWELLERY INDUSTRY IN HONG KONG


Page

1. INTRODUCTION 3

1.1 OVERVIEW OF HONG KONG JEWELLERY MARKET 3


1.2 LOCAL PRODUCTION 4
1.3 DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS 5

2. TRADE 8

2.1 IMPORTS 9
2.1.1 Trend 9
2.1.2 Major Supplying Countries 10
2.1.3 Product Range 11
2.1.4 Market trend in 2004 12

2.2 IMPORTS FROM ITALY 15


2.2.1 Trend 15
2.2.2 Product range 16

3. IMPLICATIONS OF CEPA 17

4 SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW ITALIAN OPERATORS IN THE


LOCAL MARKET 19

USEFUL INFORMATION 21

APPENDIX 1 22
Trade Description Ordinance
Trade Descriptions (Marking) (Gold and Gold Alloy) Order 22
Trade Descriptions (Definition of Platinum) Regulations 25
Trade Descriptions (Marking)(Platinum) Order 27

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1. INTRODUCTION

Hong Kong jewellery industry can be divided into two main categories: precious
metal jewellery and imitation jewellery. In terms of production and sales volume,
precious metal jewellery gets the lions share. Manufacturers in Hong Kong are
specialized in creating contemporary design jewellery set with diamonds,
precious and semi-precious stones as well as pearls. Jewellery made in Hong
Kong is highly renowned all over the world and attains a higher standard of
craftsmanship over their counterparts in other South East Asian countries;
nevertheless it lags behind the state-of-art technology of Italy and Japan. In
particular, Hong Kong leads the world in the production and consumption of 24kt
gold

With Hong Kongs reunification with Mainland China, many manufacturers have
moved their production facilities back to China, especially mass production and
labour intensive jewellery. Shenzhen is developing at a fast pace in chain-
making and jewellery casting from medium to low end price range; in Panyu
county around 250 factories are found, the majority belongs to Hong Kong
manufacturers that produces jewellery adorned with diamonds, precious stones
and pearls. These companies maintain their facilities in Hong Kong for design
output, management and control and not to mention the production of high end
jewellery which requires a more skilled craftsmanship.

In view of the restructuring of the jewellery industry in Mainland China, the levels
of efficiency and technology standard have improved as a result of joint venture
with foreign producers like Hong Kong. Certain production phases are made in
their factories in Southern China and subsequently ship back to Hong Kong for
other value-added processes before delivery to overseas customers This
phenomenon can explain an increase in imports and re-exports and a cut-throat
competition existing not only in the local market, but also with Thailand,
Singapore and Korea who profit either from a rich resources of raw materials or
a rise in the production capacity.

1.1 OVERVIEW OF HONG KONG JEWELLERY MARKET

Hong Kong is famous for its craftsmanship and skill labour in jewellery set with
precious stones, in particular jewellery mounted with diamond in 14K and 18K
gold. Multi-faceted cut diamond rings combined with assorted colour precious
stones are definitely the best-seller. While their European counterparts
concentrate their efforts in producing high ticket value item and promote brand
image, local manufacturers specialize instead in offering contemporary and
innovative designs, with good quality and a competitive pricing strategy.

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Even though Italian designs are famous all over the world, local importers find
them too expensive due to a strong Euro and a high labour cost in Italy. As a
result, demand for imports is quite limited for the high end jewellery.

Chuk kam jewellery or fine jewellery made of 24K gold is one of the popular
product categories in the domestic market. In particular, Hong Kong is leading in
the production of pure gold items. Chinese view chuk kam mainly as a financial
asset because it can be easily converted into cash and that explains the reason
why it is referred as yellow gold.

Local importers and wholesalers have over twenty years experience working
with Italian chain manufacturers. The highest turnover in volume is gold chains
which are well received in the market with a good quality standard and
reasonable pricing. Silver and platinum follow suit. Market trend shows that
white metals popularity is increasing among consumers in Hong Kong and Asia.

1.2 LOCAL PRODUCTION

According to Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, the value of sales of
local production for jewellery (excluding other jewellery and related articles,
(Table 1) in 2003 was HK$4,013 million (around US$ 514 million) in comparison
with HK$4,611 million (around US$591 million) in 2002. The total number of
establishments was 561 in September 2004 with a work force reaching 4,259,
while 479 establishments were registered in the preceding year that produced
over 86% of the total industry output (HS7113 % HS7117). With CEPA came
into effect as of 1 January 2004, jewellery made in Hong Kong is eligible for
zero tariff in China, which may account for the increase of production facilities in
Hong Kong. Looking back at the historical data in 2002, the industry numbered
4,615 and the production of precious metal jewellery and imitation jewellery
reached HK$5,286 million (around US$677.6 million).

In general, jewellery products made in Hong Kong can be classified in 3


categories:
-jewellery made of precious metal, mounted with diamond, gem jade,
pearls, etc;
-jewellery made of precious metal, NOT mounted with diamond, gem
jade, pearls, etc;
-OTHER jewellery and related articles made of precious metal or
precious stones

As shown in Table 1, Hong Kong has diminished its production capacity in


precious metal jewellery mounted with diamonds or various types of precious
stones. Manufacturers established new factories in Shenzhen and Panyu, both
within the Guangdong Provinces to capitalize on lower production cost for labour
intensive jewellery.
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Table 1
Value of sales of local production for Jewellery and related articles
2001 2003

Value of sale of local production


(HK$'000)
Description 2001 2002 2003

Jewellery of precious metal, mounted


3,364,050 3,883,486 2,932,516
with diamond, gem, jade, pearls, etc.

Jewellery of precious metal, not mounted


380,588 635,109 537,782
with diamond, gem, jade, pearls, etc.

Precious stones, cut and polished 1,441,858 * 153,160

Other jewellery and related articles made


* 93,332 390,194
of precious metal or precious stones

Total 5,186,496 4,611,927 4,013,652


Source: Annual Survey of Industrial Production, Census & Statistics Department, Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region of China
Note:
* Data are not released in order to safeguard confidentiality of information provided by individual
establishments.
Figure represents a partial value

1.3 DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS

A growing number of jewellery factories in Hong Kong either produce and


distribute their own branded collection or enter into franchising agreement with
other local companies. In fact some key players have established their own
retail network in not only in Hong Kong, but also expanded into Mainland China,
Taiwan and other South East Asian countries. As of September 2004, 493
jewellery manufacturers are registered (more than 479 recorded in 2003, but
less than 522 in 2002 and 696 in 2000 when the industry flourished); while
factories of imitation jewellery totalled 68 (were 79 in 2003, 113 in 2002 and 94
in 2001). Starting from 2004, number of jewellery establishments has risen
slightly thanks to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) that
came into effect on 1 January 2004. Eligible local operators are allowed to tap
the huge jewellery market of Mainland China without having to pay import tariffs.
Whereas general situation before 2004 has seen a decrease in production
capacity as many factories were moved to Shenzhen and Panyu County in
Guangdong Provinces, yet a surge in imports and re-exports.

Apart from the manufacturing aspect, imports of Italian jewellery by wholesalers


and retailers were on the rise. According to Hong Kong Census & Statistics
Department, as of December 2003, a total of 2,575 trading companies were
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operating against 2,544 in the preceding year (2,265 in 2001 and 2,204 in 2000).
The imported jewellery is consumed locally as well as re-exported to Mainland
China, Philippines, Thailand, Japan and other Asian countries and even United
States.

International fashion houses also command the production of jewellery to


accessorize their garment collection as in the case of Gucci, Prada, Chanel,
YSL, Christian Dior, Versace etc. Jewellery is specially designed to complement
the signature look of the fashion and is either sold in a specialized jewellery
store or inside the boutiques.

The jewellery retail market in Hong Kong caters both the needs of local residents
and tourists alike, with sales to the latter accounts for 50% of total turnover. As
of December 2004, sales of jewellery, watches and precious gifts increased by
11.1% in value in comparison to the same month of the previous year, reaching
US$301.4 million. A 5.3% year-on-year increase in volume was also registered.
The total twelve-month period of 2004 showed a significant growth of 23% in
terms of value against 2003. The luxurious sector had experienced a
consolidation in 2001. Retail sales in jewellery, watches and precious gifts
dropped 7% in value and 5% in volume in respect to 2000, reflected that local
consumption had slowed down remarkably even if tourists sales rose 5% in 2001.
This might be attributed to a lower propensity to spend from the part of the local
people and the growing number of the Mainland tourists who considered
sourcing jewellery and watches in Hong Kong for self-use or gift-giving.

Local government has also introduced various measures to attract tourists from
other countries in the Asian region, in particular Mainland China. Hong Kong
Tourism Board stated that a record figure of 21.81 million visitors arrived in Hong
Kong during 2004, an increase of 40.4%. This was a positive sign showing that
Hong Kong had come out from the aftermath of the SAR epidemic. In 2003,
tourist arrival dropped 6.2% against 2002. On the other hand, tourists coming in
from Mainland China following the Individual Visit Scheme boosted a 24.1%
increase. As of July 2004, the Scheme has extended to residents from 30
Chinese cities. The governments intention in building Hong Kong as one of the
major tourist destinations benefit the jewellery sector, in terms of local production
and retail sales.

On-line shopping has not diffused in Hong Kong as it has in other countries. As
Hong Kong enjoys geographical proximity and local consumers have a habit to
shop around before they buy. Jewellers face intense competition in price,
design and quality.

Even though conducting business through internet, either B2B or B2C, gains
momentum all over Asia especially Japan, Australia, South Korea and Taiwan,
its development in jewellery sector in Hong Kong is still quite limited. Jewellers
opened their websites as a major communication channel to release latest
product information and to collect data from prospective clients. Hong Kong has
a broadband network which is efficient and advanced.

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Value of retail vales of jewellery, watches and clocks, articles of gifts
in Hong Kong

Index Millions HK$


140 2500

120
2000
100

1500 Index 2004


80

60 Value 2004
1000

40
500
20

0 0
ne

ec
n

g
pt

ct
b
ar

r
ay

ly

ov
Ap
Ja

Au
Fe

Ju

O
Se
M

D
M
Ju

Source: data from Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong

There were 2,224 retailers of fine jewellery & imitation jewellery in Hong Kong as
of June 2004 compared with 2,241 a year earlier, a slight adjustment of 0.7% as
a result of the consolidation of outlets. Whereas in 2003 recorded a year-on-
year increase of 9.5% with 2,045 shops in 2002. This shows that the local
market is under healthy competition and still has room to expand. Amongst the
major local retailers are Chow Sang Sang, Chow Tai Fook, 3D-Gold, Luk Fook,
Tse Sui Luen, Continental Diamond, Edelweiss, Henri, Imperial, J's, Just Gold /
Just Diamond, King Fook, Larry, Ma Belle, Mac Look, Madia, My Jewelry,
Prince, The World Vision.

International brand names with price bracket that targets the high-end market
have a large following among local consumers and tourists. To name just a few,
Bvlgari, Buccellati, Cartier, Tiffany, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels, Folli Follie,
Mikimoto, Charriol, Damiani, Georg Jensen, etc.

In recent years, local retail market introduces Italian designer jewellery like
Anzelmo & Bruni, Damiani, Stefan Hafner, Calgaro, Tramedoro etc to fill the
existing niche.

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2. TRADE

Hong Kong prides itself with a liberal economy which is dynamic and strongly
tied with International trade and commerce. With practically very limited natural
resources, Hong Kong depends heavily in imports and succeeded in
transforming itself into a major finance and logistics centre in the world.

Including re-exports, Hong Kong is the second largest exporter of precious metal
jewellery after Italy, amounting US$2,227.6 million in 2003 1 . The economic
financial crisis that swept over Asia from 1997 to 1998 has resulted in the global
slowdown in 2001, which reduced the exports of jewellery by 5% in total. In view
of the gloomy economic situation coupled with the recession in Japan and the
September 11 terrorist attack, consumers avoided to purchase luxurious goods
at high ticket value. Local imports decreased by 7% in 2001.

In 2004, Hong Kong imported a total value of US$1,896.26 million of precious


metal jewellery, of which 40% came from China and which represented a year-
on-year growth of 6.96%. Exports of jewellery also grew in the last 3 years:
almost 19% in 2004; 17% in 2003 and 21% in 2002. The most important market
for Hong Kong jewellery is the United States, with an increase of around 10% in
2004. Exports to countries in the European Community have also improved: an
increase of 51% towards United Kingdom (+21% in 2003); 35.5% towards
France (+53% in 2003); 9.9% towards Germany (+39% in 2003) and a record
growth of 74.8% towards Italy (+41% in 2003).

After the economic turmoil in 2001, Hong Kong exports took a positive uptrend in
the first 10 months of 2002 by showing a growth of almost 17%, reaching 20%
by the end of the year. Exports to the United States have also seen a
tremendous increment of 30%. While total exports in 2003 showed a year-on-
year increase of 17% and an 11% increase towards the United States. Thanks
to the strong Euro, member countries of the European Community increased
their imports by 29% and sales towards Japan have shown a delightful increase.
Even though local manufacturers were barred from exhibiting at Basel Fair due
to SARS, they could still count a good year at the end. Exports continued at the
same momentum in 2004 with an eye for further expansion.

On the other hand, exports towards Taiwan registered a decline of 4.2% after a
robust increase of 41% in 2003. The Japanese market experienced a growth of
24.5% in 2004 in respect of 27% in 2003.

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Source: Hong Kong Trade Statistics, Census and Statistics Department; Commodity Trade Statistics, United Nations.
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Table 2

Exports of Jewellery from Hong Kong

Exports & Re-exports


(millions of $USA) % Change
HS 2001 2002 2003 2004 2001 2002 2003 2004
7113 1,526.53 1,848.92 2,174.55 2,586.17 -1.80 21.40 17.61 18.93
7117 494.97 535.88 607.47 773.85 -0.10 8.30 -13.36 27.39

Total 2,021.50 2,384.80 2,782.02 3,360.02 -1.12 17.97 16.66 20.78


Source: data from Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong

2.1 IMPORTS

Hong Kong imported over US$1,896 million of jewellery and US$255 million of
imitation jewellery in 2004, represented an increment of 7% and 26.8%
respectively. Whereas imports have recorded a significant growth of 45.9%
(over US$1,772 million in value) in jewellery and 8.3% in imitation jewellery
(US$201 million in value) in the preceding year.

Economic recession in the past years has changed the general purchasing
pattern towards more economic products, fortunately jewellery has always
proved itself as a stable investment item and has sustained from a crash in
sales.

Table 3

Imports of Jewellery in Hong Kong

Imports % Change
(millions of $USA)
HS 2001 2002 2003 2004 2001 2002 2003 2004
7113 1,019.40 1,214.89 1,772.80 1,896.26 -2.20 19.20 45.92 6.96
7117 174.79 185.51 201.00 255.03 1.70 6.90 8.35 26.88

Total 1,194.19 1,400.41 1,973.80 2,151.29 -1.67% 17.38% 40.94% 8.99%

Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong

2.1.1 Trend

Hong Kong is an important market for jewellery imports with a continuous


increasing demand, hit only by a slight decline in 2001. Total imports rose from
US$1,019 million in 2001 to US$1,772 million in 2003. The decline in import
value registered in 1998 and 2001 was caused by external factors such as the
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economic crisis in Asia as well as the September 11 terrorist attack and had no
correlations with the internal restructuring of the market.

Imports began to pick up in 2002 showing a growth of 17.38% and reaching a


total of US$1,400 million by the end of the year. This trend has continued to
climb in 2003 with an increase in around 46% in the precious metal jewellery
sector (HS7113) and an 8.35% increase in imitation jewellery (HS7117) for a
total of US$1,973 million. In 2004, value of imports rose to over US$2,151
million threshold, while precious metal jewellery enjoyed a lions share of 88%,
US$1,896.2 million.

2.1.2 Major Supplying Countries

At the end of 2004, Italy has re-conquered the second position, after a full year,
by exporting US$283.8 million in value of precious metal jewellery (HS7113) to
Hong Kong. Mainland China surpassed Italy from 1998 and since then has
become the top supplying country to the Special Administrative Region. Italy
registered a decrease in quantity and value in exports in 2001 and 2002
consecutively, still maintaining a firm hold in the second position until further
challenged by South Korea in 2003, reducing the market share to 13.9%. In
2004, jewellery imported from Mainland China represented over one third of the
market share and South Korea fell back to the third place with a drop of over
42% and a market share of 13% against 25% in the preceding year.

Table 4

Hong Kong Imports of Articles of Jewellery and Parts thereof, of Precious


metal or metal clad with precious metal (value: US$) (HS7113) (Jan-Dec)

%
Millions US$ % Share
Change
Rank Country 2002 2003 2004 2002 2003 2004 04/03

0 --World-- 1.214.89 1.772.80 1.896.26 100 100 100 6.96


1 China 402.22 474.30 667.99 33.11 26.75 35.23 40.84
2 Italy 248.45 248.03 283.38 20.45 13.99 14.94 14.25
3 Korea, South 4.74 450.26 257.76 0.39 25.4 13.59 -42.75
4 United States 135.56 123.96 165.40 11.16 6.99 8.72 33.42
5 France 110.51 134.61 116.59 9.1 7.59 6.15 -13.38
6 Switzerland 0.00 53.16 71.71 0 3 3.78 34.89
7 India 35.52 32.28 44.64 2.92 1.82 2.35 38.3
8 Thailand 19.46 23.01 25.30 1.6 1.3 1.33 9.96
9 United Kingdom 13.03 21.33 23.74 1.07 1.2 1.25 11.28
10 Japan 18.43 16.55 16.92 1.52 0.93 0.89 2.26
Source: Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong

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Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or metal clad with
precious metal (HS7113)
January - December

700

600

500
2002
m illions of US$ 400
2003
300
2004
200

100

0
China Italy South Korea United States France
Principal supplying countries

2.1.3 Product Range

Hong Kong imported around US$1,577 million of gold jewellery in 2003


(HS71131910), represented a year-on-year increase of 51.1%. Gold trading
enjoys no restriction and there is a fixing of local gold price index in Hong Kong.
Fashion trend also needs jewellery to accessories the total look, contributing to
the demand in contemporary designs.

In terms of volume, Hong Kong imported less silver jewellery than gold jewellery.
Target consumers are relatively young in the age bracket who have less
disposable income but nevertheless follows the latest fashion trend. US$162
million (HS71131100) of silver jewellery in terms of value are imported in Hong
Kong in 2003, an increase of 22% over the previous year.

Consumption of platinum (HS71131920) is trivial when comparing with other


precious metals like gold and silver. Imports continued to decline showing a
decrease of 16% and 15% were registered respectively in 2002 and 2003.

Imports of imitation jewellery in Hong Kong totalled US$ 201 million in 2003, an
increase of 8% over 2002.

Mainland China remained as the most important supplying country with its
market share continuing to expand, reaching 79.8% in 2003. Chinese-made
imitation jewellery is well recognized for its good quality and competitive price.

Germany got 4% of the market share and was in the second position, while Italy
ranked 7th and occupied slightly over 1% of the total imports, equivalent to
US$2.27 million (year-on-year increase of 27%).

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2.1.4 Market trend in 2004

Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department has made modifications on HS


codes since beginning of 2004:

HS codes New HS
Description
before 2004 In 2004

71131910 71131911 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond


Mounted Or Set, Of Gold, Whether Or Not Plated Or
Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131919 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond
Not Mounted Or Set, Of Gold, Whether Or Not
Plated Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131100 71131110 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond
Mounted Or Set, Of Silver, Whether Or Not Plated
Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131190 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond
Not Mounted Or Set, Of Silver, Whether Or Not
Plated Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131920 71131991 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond
Mounted Or Set, Of Other Precious Metal, Whether
Or Not Plated Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131999 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond
Not Mounted Or Set, Of Other Precious Metal,
Whether Or Not Plated Or Clad With Other Precious
Metal

With the more detailed breakdown on the 8-digit HS codes, trade figures divide
precious metal jewellery set with or without diamonds. In 2004, Hong Kong
imported US$920.6 million of gold jewellery mounted with diamonds
(HS71131911) while gold jewellery without diamonds (HS71131919) amounted
to US$741.1 million. On the other hand, silver jewellery set with diamonds
(HS71131110) reached US$27.9 million and without diamonds (HS71131190)
arrived at US$166.2 million as silver in general is not considered as an
investment item.

As imports of platinum from 2001 to 2003 have not been significant, there will
not be a separate category for tabulation starting from 2004. Platinum is
grouped under precious metal other than gold or silver. Jewellery in other
precious metal set with diamonds (HS71131991) totalled US$ 27.1 million while
without diamonds (HS71171999) amounted US$9.5 million.

In 2004, imports of gold jewellery whether mounted with or without diamonds


(HS71131911 & HS71131919) constitute an important amount of US$1,661.75
million. For gold jewellery set with diamonds, Mainland China alone grasped a
market share of 37.4%, to be followed by United States (11.3%), France
(10.8%). Italy overtook the rest of the world in supplying Hong Kong with gold
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jewellery not mounted with diamonds, occupying 31.9% of market share. South
Korea and Mainland China followed with 30% and 25.6% respectively of total
imports.

Table 5a

Hong Kong total imports of gold jewellery mounted with diamonds


(71131911)
January - December

%
Millions $US % share
change
Rank Country 2002 2003 2004 2002 2003 2004 04 / 03
0 --World-- 0.00 0.00 920.59 100.00 100.00 100.00 0.00
1 China 0.00 0.00 344.85 0.00 0.00 37.46 0.00
2 United States 0.00 0.00 104.20 0.00 0.00 11.32 0.00
3 France 0.00 0.00 100.20 0.00 0.00 10.89 0.00
4 Switzerland 0.00 0.00 64.13 0.00 0.00 6.97 0.00
5 India 0.00 0.00 40.98 0.00 0.00 4.45 0.00
6 Korea, South 0.00 0.00 34.46 0.00 0.00 3.74 0.00
7 Italy 0.00 0.00 28.30 0.00 0.00 3.07 0.00
8 United Kingdom 0.00 0.00 20.42 0.00 0.00 2.22 0.00
9 Thailand 0.00 0.00 9.40 0.00 0.00 1.02 0.00
10 United Arab Emirates 0.00 0.00 9.29 0.00 0.00 1.01 0.00
Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong

Table 5b

Hong Kong total imports of gold jewellery NOT mounted with diamonds
(71131919)
January - December

%
Millions $US % share
change
Rank Country 2002 2003 2004 2002 2003 2004 04/03
0 --World -- 0.00 0.00 741.16 100.00 100.00 100.00 0.00
1 Italy 0.00 0.00 236.61 0.00 0.00 31.92 0.00
2 Korea, South 0.00 0.00 222.56 0.00 0.00 30.03 0.00
3 China 0.00 0.00 189.72 0.00 0.00 25.6 0.00
4 United States 0.00 0.00 30.05 0.00 0.00 4.06 0.00
5 France 0.00 0.00 15.01 0.00 0.00 2.03 0.00
6 Turkey 0.00 0.00 7.70 0.00 0.00 1.04 0.00
7 Germany 0.00 0.00 4.30 0.00 0.00 0.58 0.00
8 Greece 0.00 0.00 3.52 0.00 0.00 0.47 0.00
9 Switzerland 0.00 0.00 3.37 0.00 0.00 0.45 0.00
10 Japan 0.00 0.00 3.31 0.00 0.00 0.45 0.00
Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong

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Referring always to the same period in 2004, imports of silver jewellery mounted
with or without diamonds (HS71131110 & HS71131190) amounted to
US$194.13 million. Mainland China undoubtedly ranked first for the two
categories, with a majority market share of 82.5% for silver jewellery set with
diamonds and 63.3% without diamonds thanks to low labour cost and utilization
of advanced technology in machinery.

Table 6a

Hong Kong total imports of silver jewellery mounted with diamonds


(71131110)
January - December

%
Millions $USA % Share
Change
Rank Country 2002 2003 2004 2002 2003 2004 04 / 03
0 --World -- 0 0 27.94 100.00 100.00 100.00 0.00
1 China 0 0 23.06 0.00 0.00 82.53 0.00
2 Italy 0 0 2.15 0.00 0.00 7.69 0.00
3 United States 0 0 1.41 0.00 0.00 5.05 0.00
4 Thailand 0 0 0.76 0.00 0.00 2.73 0.00
5 France 0 0 0.14 0.00 0.00 0.49 0.00
6 India 0 0 0.11 0.00 0.00 0.38 0.00
7 Spain 0 0 0.05 0.00 0.00 0.17 0.00
8 Switzerland 0 0 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.16 0.00
9 Germany 0 0 0.04 0.00 0.00 0.14 0.00
10 Japan 0 0 0.03 0.00 0.00 0.13 0.00
Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong

Table 6b

Hong Kong total imports of silver jewellery NOT mounted with diamonds
(71131190)
January - December

%
Millions $USA % Share
Change
Rank Country 2002 2003 2004 2002 2003 2004 04 / 03
0 --World-- 0.00 0.00 166.20 100.00 100.00 100.00 0.00
1 China 0.00 0.00 105.31 0.00 0.00 63.37 0.00
2 Italy 0.00 0.00 15.98 0.00 0.00 9.61 0.00
3 United States 0.00 0.00 12.56 0.00 0.00 7.56 0.00
4 Thailand 0.00 0.00 12.20 0.00 0.00 7.34 0.00
5 Greece 0.00 0.00 5.54 0.00 0.00 3.34 0.00
6 Indonesia 0.00 0.00 4.79 0.00 0.00 2.88 0.00
7 Germany 0.00 0.00 4.07 0.00 0.00 2.45 0.00
8 Japan 0.00 0.00 1.26 0.00 0.00 0.76 0.00
9 France 0.00 0.00 0.84 0.00 0.00 0.51 0.00
10 Switzerland 0.00 0.00 0.79 0.00 0.00 0.48 0.00
Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department, elaborated by ICE Hong Kong
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2.2 IMPORTS FROM ITALY

Hong Kong imported over US$283 million of precious metal jewellery (HS7113)
from Italy in 2004, accounting for a year-on-year increase of 14.2%. Italy
remained to the second most important supplying country, obtaining a market
share of 14.9%, and was around half of Mainland Chinas market share, which
was the top on the list.

Comparing with 2003, Italy exported over US$248 million of precious metal
jewellery to Hong Kong, represented an extremely slight decrease of 0.17%
against the previous year. Italy retained a market share of around 14% after
Mainland China (26.7%) and South Korea (25.4%).

2.2.1 Trend

Trade figures from 2004 showed a positive sign. Local economy has finally
picked up from the adverse effects caused by the SARS epidemic in 2003
thanks to the introduction of Individual Visit Scheme. Such a measure
facilitates the issuance of visas to Chinese citizens from designated provincials
who wish to travel to Hong Kong.

Jewellery made in Italy is well sought after for its quality standard and designs
due to a long tradition of craftsmanship and jewellery making. Plain and fancy
gold chains in 18K have a strong demand in the local market. Branded Italian
jewellery such as Stefan Hafner, Marco Bicego and Calgaro are sold through
large retail chain stores; while long established names like Buccellati and Bvlgari
have their own jewellery shops. Importers tend to keep a wide range of stock in
necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and pendants etc to serve (1) local jewellery
stores; (2) wholesalers from China and other Asian countries. Hong Kong is a
major regional distribution centre for chains supplying to various countries in
Asia other than Japan.

Italy exported US$248 million of precious metal jewellery to Hong Kong in 2003,
equivalent to 13.9% of market share and was positioned as the third major
supplying country.

Before 1998, Italy always ranked top in terms of supplying precious metal
jewellery to Hong Kong, only to be overtaken by Mainland China after various
trade deregulation initiatives adopted by the government to boost economy.
Attractive labour cost has induced many local manufacturers to move their
factories to the southern part of Mainland China. Increase in imports from
Mainland China and the consequent decrease in the market share of Italy do not
necessarily imply that Italy cannot further expand its export value and volume,
just as happened before in 2002 with very positive outcome.

15
2.2.2 Product Range

Gold spearheads the exportation of jewellery leaving other precious metal well
behind. In 2004, 89% of precious metal jewellery exported from Italy belongs to
the category of gold jewellery without diamonds (HS71131919), reaching
US$236.61 million and a market share of around 32%; gold jewellery set with
diamonds (HS71131911) accounted only US$28.3 million which is equivalent to
3% of Hong Kongs total imports. Silver jewellery without diamonds
(HS71131190) showed an upward trend with a 9.61% market share and a value
of US$15.98 million.

To take one step backward to 2003, gold jewellery (previous HS code


71131910) registered a total value of US$231.8 million, followed by silver
jewellery (previous HS code 71131100) of US$15 million and platinum jewellery
(previous HS code 71131920) of US$1 million.

Silver jewellery took a leap in 2003. Exports rose 47% compared to the previous
year.

The negative trend of platinum jewellery continued in 2003 with a decline of over
53%.

16
3. IMPLICATIONS OF CEPA

The Mainland China and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
(CEPA) was concluded in 29 June 2003. Fine jewellery made in Hong Kong will
enjoy duty-free access to the mainland market from 1 January 2004, whereas
non-Hong Kong made counterparts will remain subject to tariffs ranging from
20% 35% (Table 17). CEPA also opens the possibility for Hong Kong
operators to engage in wholesale and retail distribution, Hong Kong jewellers will
have an easier access to the mainland market than other foreign suppliers.
Although not all foreign companies will shift their manufacturing plants to Hong
Kong after the signing of CEPA, the Agreement may attract more niche
manufacturing operations to the territory.

Updates are available from the official website of The Hong Kong Trade and
Industry Department: www.tid.gov.hk/english/cepa/files/mainland_2005.pdf.

Thanks to CEPA, distribution channels are opened up to Hong Kong companies


who are interested to engage in wholesale or retail business. Wholly-owned
retail operations can be conducted by Chinese permanent residents of Hong
Kong in the Guangdong Province.

Tabella 7

Committed
HS codes
rate (%) under
2005 Product description 2005
WTO
China
Agreement
71023100 Diamond rough or non-industrial use cut diamond 3%
71131110 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond 20%
Mounted Or Set, Of Silver, Whether Or Not Plated
Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131190 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond 20%
Not Mounted Or Set, Of Silver, Whether Or Not
Plated Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131911 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond 20%
Mounted Or Set, Of Gold, Whether Or Not Plated
Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131919 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond 20%
Not Mounted Or Set, Of Gold, Whether Or Not
Plated Or Clad With Other Precious Metal

71131991 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond 35%


Mounted Or Set, Of Other Precious Metal, Whether
Or Not Plated Or Clad With Other Precious Metal
71131999 Articles Of Jewellery And Parts Thereof, Diamond 35%
Not Mounted Or Set, Of Other Precious Metal,
Whether Or Not Plated Or Clad With Other
Precious Metal
71132010 Articles of Jewellery and Parts Thereof, Diamond 35%
Mounted Or Set, Of Base Metal clad with precious
metal
17
71132090 Articles of Jewellery and Parts Thereof, Diamond 35%
Not Mounted Or Set, Of Base Metal clad with
precious metal
71141100 Silversmiths wares & parts thereof, of precious 35%
metal
71141900 Goldsmiths wares & parts thereof, of precious 35%
metal
71142000 Gold/silversmiths wares & parts thereof, of base 35%
metal clad with precious metal
71159090 Articles in precious metal or base metal clad with 35%
precious metal, for various applications
71161000 Articles of natural or cultured pearls 35%
71162000 Articles of precious or semi-precious stones 35%
71171100 Cuff links and studs in metal 35%
71171900 Other imitation jewellery in metal 17%
71179000 Imitation jewellery in various materials other than 35%
those specified elsewhere
Fonte: Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department

Jewellery articles belonging to the HS codes listed in the above table, if qualified
under the CEPA, can be admitted into Mainland China with zero tariff.

18
4 SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW ITALIAN OPERATORS IN THE LOCAL
MARKET

Market demand
Mainland tourists will be the potential customers in the future; Italian
jewellers must improve their understanding of the market needs in
order to develop products and services more in line with the
consumers needs; to maintain regular dialogues and to conduct
market researches with the assistance of Hong Kong importers or
agents; to be updated about the policy changes and market directions;
and to identify potential partners for the sake of developing new sales
networks.

Delivery
Since late delivery is a relatively serious problem faced by importers in
Hong Kong, Italian suppliers need to improve their lead time in
production in accordance with the agreed delivery schedule.

Response & reply


Communication is very important in business sector. Local importers
complained about the high percentage rate of no response and reply
when dealing with Italian suppliers. As a result, orders had to be
cancelled eventually due to no follow up action from Italy. To maintain
a good trading relationship with local importers, Italian suppliers must
react faster and to answer enquiries in any circumstances.

Quality
Hong Kong importers are not satisfied with the quality control
conducted by Italian suppliers in general. Some orders shipped out
from Italy are not packed according to the instructions; or merchandise
is found to be in poor quality. Suppliers from Italy should pay more
attention to quality control since consistency in quality is always a
prime concern in business.

Design
Hong Kong importers claimed that the design of Italian jewellery is
more or less the same in recent years. To increase competitiveness
in the world market and to satisfy customers needs, innovative design
is very important. Italian jewellery manufacturers are suggested to
allocate more resources on jewellery design and development.

Price
The price of Italian jewellery, especially chains, is reasonable to local
importers and retailers due to keen competition among suppliers in
Italy. Few importers believe that cut-throat competition would
endanger the Italian industry if suppliers slash the price too low.

19
Trade Fairs in Hong Kong
To increase product exposure in the local market and to establish new
business relationships with local operators, Italian companies are
encouraged to exhibit in various important international jewellery
exhibitions in Hong Kong. Major trade fairs in Hong Kong include
International Jewellery Show (March), Asias Fashion Jewellery and
Accessories Fair (June), June Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair
(June), and September Hong Kong Jewellery and Watch Fair
(September) in Hong Kong. Starting from 2006, a newly organized fair
Hong Kong January Jewellery & Watch Show will take place at the
AsiaWorld-Expo, adding another occasion for trade operators to meet
with potential buyers.

-End-

20
USEFUL INFORMATION

Jewellery Trade Fairs in Hong Kong

Fair Name Month Organiser Website


The Hong Kong January International January World Trade Fair Ltd www.januaryshow.com
Jewellery & Watch Show

Hong Kong International Jewellery March Hong Kong Trade http://hkjewellery.com


Show Development Council

Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair June CMP Asia Ltd www.cmpasia.com

June Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch June CMP Asia Ltd www.cmpasia.com
Fair
Asia's Fashion Jewellery & June & Sept CMP Asia Ltd www.cmpasia.com
Accessories Fair
September Hong Kong Jewellery & Sept CMP Asia Ltd www.cmpasia.com
Watch Fair
Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers Nov Hong Kong Jewelry www.jewelryshows.org
Exhibition Manufacturers'
Association

Associations

There are several jewellery associations in Hong Kong. The aim of those
associations is to provide services to the members, to support and protect the
local manufacturers in order to reinforce the status of the local jewelers not only
in Hong Kong but also around the world.

Associations Website
Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China Ltd www.diamondfederationhk.com

Hong Kong Jewellery & Jade Manufacturers Association www.jewellery-hk.org

Hong Kong Jewellery Industrial Technology Centre www.hkpc.org/hkjitc

Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers' Association www.jewelry.org.hk

Hong Kong Pearl Association www.hkpearlassn.org

The Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society www.cgse.com.hk


The Diamond Importers Association Ltd www.jewelrynet.com

The Gemmological Association of Hong Kong Ltd nil

21
APPENDIX 1

Trade Description Ordinance

Chapter 362A

Trade Descriptions (Marking) (Gold and Gold Alloy) Order

Application

This order shall apply to articles of gold or gold alloy containing not less than 8
carats or of a fineness of not less than 333.

Articles to be marked

(1) every article of gold or gold alloy that is supplied or offered for supply
by any person in the course of trade or business shall bear a mark -

(a) in arabic numerals clearly indicating in carats, by number or by number


and the letters "k", "c" or "ct" the fineness of the gold content in
accordance with the standards of fineness specified in the Standards
of Fineness; or
(b) in arabic numerals clearly indicating in parts per thousand the
fineness of the gold content; or
(c) consisting of the Chinese characters "" (Chuk Kam).

(2) each number or character of the mark specified in sub-paragraph (1) shall
not be smaller than 0.5 mm in size.

Articles of differing fineness

(1) an article mentioned in Articles to be marked consists of different


parts which are of different finenesses of gold or gold alloy, then either-
(a) each part shall be marked as if it were a separate article; or
(b) one mark shall be affixed which shall be that of the fineness of the
article as a whole.

(2) an article mentioned in Articles to be marked consists of different


parts one or more of which are of gold or gold alloy and another or other
of which are of another metal, the part or parts which are of gold or gold
alloy shall be marked under Articles to be marked and the other part
or parts shall be described in the invoice or receipt supplied under
Supply to be accompanies by written particulars.

(3) Where-
(a) in the case of an article the main body of which is of Chuk Kam

22
standard, the solder used is of a fineness of not less than 800;
(b) in the case of an article the main body of which is of a 916.6 standard,
the solder used is of a fineness of not less than 750;
(c) in the case of filigree work or a watch case, the main body of which is
of a 750 standard, the solder used is of a fineness of not less than
740;
(d) in the case of a white gold article the main body of which is of a 750 or
585 standard, the solder used is of a fineness of not less than 500,
and if the solder constitutes not more than 5 per cent of the finished
article, the finished article may be marked with the standard of
fineness of the main body.

Supply to be accompanied by written particulars

(1) Any person who, in the course of trade or business, supplies any article of
gold or gold alloy shall, at the time of supply, deliver to the person to
whom the article is supplied an invoice or receipt which shall contain-
(a) the full name and address of the supplier;
(b) details of the mark required under Articles to be marked, and where
appropriate,-
(c) a description of the parts of the article of gold, and a description of the
parts of other metal;
(d) a description of the parts of the article of different finenesses;
(e) a description of any article or part of any article exempted by virtue of the
Exempted Articles.

(2) A supplier shall retain a copy of the invoice or receipt issued in accordance
with sub-paragraph (1) for a period of not less than 3 years after the date of
issue.

Notice to be displayed

No article made of gold or gold alloy shall be supplied or offered for supply in the
course of trade or business unless there is displayed at the point of supply or
offer for supply a notice in the manner and form specified in the Third Schedule.
The size of the notice must not be less than 210 mm x 297 mm, and the size of
the letters and characters should not be less than 5 mm in height.

Surface treated articles

If an article with a surface treatment of gold is marked with words describing


such treatment which include the word "gold", the other words in such
description shall not be less prominent than the word "gold".

23
Standard of fineness

The standards of fineness (that is the number of parts by weight of gold in one
thousand parts by weight of alloy) are-

Standard Fineness, not less than


8 carat 333
9 carat 375
12 carat 500
14 carat 585
15 carat 625
18 carat 750
22 carat 916.6
Chuk Kam () 990

and so in proportion for any other number of carats.

Exempted articles

Remarks:

1. Any coin which is, or was formerly at any time, current coin of Hong Kong
or elsewhere. (65 of 2000 s. 3)

2. Any article which has been used, or is intended to be used, for medical,
dental, veterinary, scientific or industrial use.

3. Any article of gold thread.

4. Any raw material (including any bar, plate, sheet, foil, wire, strip or tube) or
bullion.

5. Any article or part of an article which is so small or thin as to render the


marking thereof impracticable, and which is less than 1 gram in weight.

6. Any article manufactured more than 100 years ago provided that this is so
stated in the invoice or receipt required by point 1 of Supply to be
accompanied by written particulars of the order.

24
Chapter 362B

Trade Descriptions (Definition of Platinum) Regulations

Definition of platinum

(1) The expression "platinum" or the Chinese characters "" (Chuk Pak
Kam), when used in any trade or business means platinum or a platinum
alloy having a standard of fineness specified in Standard of fineness.

(2) The letters "PT" and arabic numerals indicating the fineness of platinum
content or the Chinese characters "" (Chuk Pak Kam), when used
in any trade or business, mean platinum or platinum alloy of a fineness by
weight of not less than the fineness specified by the marking.

(3) An article shall not be described as "platinum" or "platinum alloy" if it is of


a fineness of less than 850 parts of platinum in 1000 parts by weight of
alloy.

(4) The solder used in an article described as "platinum" or by the letters "PT"
and arabic numerals indicating fineness of platinum content or the
Chinese characters "" (Chuk Pak Kam) shall not be less than 95
percent by weight of gold, platinum, palladium or silver or a combination
of 2 or more of them and shall not be less than 50 per cent by weight of
gold, platinum or palladium or a combination of 2 or more of them.

(5) If an article with a surface treatment of platinum is marked with words


describing the treatment which include "platinum", the other words in the
description shall be not less prominent than the word "platinum".

Standard of Fineness

The standards of fineness (that is the number of parts by weight of platinum in


1000 parts by weight of alloy) are-
Standard Fineness, not less than
Chuk Pak Kam () 990
PT 990 990
PT 950 950
PT 900 900
PT 850 850

Exempted articles

1. Any coin which is, or was formerly, current coin of Hong Kong or
elsewhere. (65 of 2000 s. 3)

25
2. Any article which has been used, or is intended to be used, for medical,
dental, veterinary, scientific or industrial use.

3. Any article of platinum thread.

4. Any raw material (including any bar, plate, sheet, foil, wire, strip or tube)
or bullion.

5. Any article or part of an article which is so small or thin as to render the


marking of it impracticable, and which is less than 2 grams in weight.

6. Any article manufactured more than 100 years ago, if this is so stated in
writing on sale or transfer.

26
Chapter 362C

Trade Descriptions (Marking)(Platinum) Order

Prohibition on supply of unmarked articles

No person shall supply or offer to supply an article of platinum in the course of


any trade or business unless it is marked in accordance with this order.

Marking of articles

(1) Subject to Prohibition on supply of unmarked articles, every article


of platinum that is supplied or offered for supply in the course of any
trade or business shall bear a mark consisting of-

(a) the letters "PT" and arabic numerals; or


(b) the Chinese characters "" (Chuk Pak Kam), according to the
fineness of the article being a standard of fineness specified in
Standard Fineness.

(2) Each letter, number or character of the mark specified in sub-paragraph


(1) shall not be smaller than 0.5 mm2 in size.

(3) This paragraph shall not apply to any article specified in Exempted
Articles.

Articles of differing fineness

(1) Subject to subparagraph (4), where an article mentioned in Marking in


articles consists of different parts which are of different finenesses of
platinum, then either-
(a) each part shall be marked as if it were a separate article; or
(b) one mark shall be affixed which shall be that of the fineness of the
article as a whole.

(2) Where an article mentioned in Marking in articles consists of different


parts one or more of which are platinum and another or others are of
another metal, the part or parts of which are platinum shall be marked under
in Marking in articles and the other part or parts shall be described in the
invoice or receipt supplied under Supply to be accompanied by written
particulars.

(3) The solder used in an article shall not be less than 95% by weight of gold,
platinum, palladium or silver or a combination of 2 or more of them, and
shall not be less than 50% by weight of gold, platinum or palladium or a
combination of 2 or more of them.
27
(4) Where the solder of an article constitutes not more than 5% of the
finished article, the finished article may be marked with the standard of
fineness of the main body.

Supply to be accompanied by written particulars

(1) Any person who, in the course of trade or business, supplies any article of
platinum shall, at the time of supply, deliver to the person to whom the
article is supplied an invoice or receipt which shall contain-

(a) the full name and address of the supplier;


(b) details of the mark required under Articles to be marked and where
appropriate-
(i) a description of the parts of the article of platinum and a
description of the parts of other metal;
(ii) a description of the parts of the article of different finenesses; and
(iii) a description of any article or parts of any article exempted by
Exempted articles.

(2) A supplier shall retain a copy of the invoice or receipt issued under
subparagraph (1) for a period of not less than 3 years after the date of
issue.

Notice to be displayed

(1) No article made of platinum shall be supplied or offered for supply in the
course of trade or business unless there is displayed prominently to all
customers at the point of supply or offer to supply a notice in the form
specified in Schedule 3.

(2) The notice shall be not less than 210 mm x 297 mm in size and the
letters, figures and characters shall be not less than 5 mm in height.

Surface treated articles

If an article with a surface treatment of platinum is marked with words describing


the treatment which include "platinum", the other words in the description shall
be not less prominent than the word "platinum".

28